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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Capello hopes Beckham will get England recall

MADRID -- Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello hopes that England manager Steve McClaren will follow his example and recall David Beckham to his squad.

"I hope for his (Beckham's) sake that he does return as it will make him happy," Capello told a news conference on Friday.

"He's always behaved like a great professional. Of course it all depends on the England coach, but he could do good things for England."

Capello said that Beckham's return to the Real Madrid first team after a month on the sidelines had been a boost to the team.

"It has had a very positive effect because of the way he played and because of the enthusiasm and seriousness he has always demonstrated."

Last week Capello backtracked on his decision to sideline the former England captain following his announcement that he would be moving to the United States to join MLS side LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old marked his return by scoring the equalizer in Real's 2-1 comeback win over Real Sociedad. He has also been named in the squad for Saturday's match at home to Real Betis.

Beckham resigned the England captaincy after last year's World Cup in Germany and was then dropped from the squad by new coach McClaren when he took over in August.

He has not played for England since their quarter-final defeat by Portugal on penalties.

McClaren has come under pressure to recall the midfielder after a poor run in Euro 2008 qualifying and a disappointing 1-0 defeat by Spain in a friendly at Old Trafford earlier this month.

England, who are three points behind leaders Croatia in third place in Group E, play Israel in their next qualifier on March 24 and then take on Andorra four days later.